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Do non-revs have to answer the COVID-19 questions during check-in?

Do non-revs have to answer the COVID-19 questions during check-in?

Old Sep 13, 20, 4:41 pm
  #1  
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Do non-revs have to answer the COVID-19 questions during check-in?

I flew an E175 from AUS-SJC yesterday and sat behind a non-rev QX FA who was visibly ill. She stumbled onto the aircraft, plopped down in 2C (I was in 3C), asked one of the crew members for a garbage bag to use as a vomit bag (which she eventually vomited into), and leaned over to put her head on the arm rest. My wife and I both had backpacks under the seats and since it looked like she was going to vomit at any time, we decided to be safe and put them in the overhead compartment. Keep in mind that I'm one of those people that probably wouldn't freak out too much if I had to sit next to stranger (as long as they were wearing a mask), but being so close to a visibly ill passenger made me nervous enough to look for empty seats for us to move to. I considered moving back to 4CD, but there was a person in 4A and I didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable so we stayed where we were even though there were only 4 total passengers in the first class cabin (including us). What made me even more nervous was the fact that this person worked my inbound flight to AUS and served us in the first class cabin. Prior to door closure, I could tell the crew was concerned and talking amongst themselves, but the non-rev was allowed to stay on board for the flight anyway (no clue why).

This led me to wonder....do non-revs have to answer the COVID-19 questions like regular passengers during check-in? If I were as visibly ill upon boarding, there would be no way they would have allowed me to fly so I still can't believe something like this would be allowed to happen.
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Last edited by PDXPremier; Sep 13, 20 at 7:18 pm
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:37 pm
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I was on a SFO/PDX flight last fall, and was 2nd in line on the jetway standing by the aircraft door while someone adjusted it. When they adjusted the person in front of me threw up all over the floor and part of the airplane. They still let him on, and he sat two rows behind me in 4 with a bag puking the whole flight. I asked the FA and he said “they are a non rev employee deadheading home, so we have to let them fly” . I’m with you PDXPremier, if it were you or me we would have been denied boarding in a heartbeat.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Waitlisted View Post
I was on a SFO/PDX flight last fall, and was 2nd in line on the jetway standing by the aircraft door while someone adjusted it. When they adjusted the person in front of me threw up all over the floor and part of the airplane. They still let him on, and he sat two rows behind me in 4 with a bag puking the whole flight. I asked the FA and he said “they are a non rev employee deadheading home, so we have to let them fly” . I’m with you PDXPremier, if it were you or me we would have been denied boarding in a heartbeat.
Thanks for sharing....it sounds indeed like official policy rather than a one-time oversight....disappointing to say the least. I did send a note to customer care and this time I requested a response (which I normally don't do) so we'll see what they say.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:46 pm
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Time to raise these things is prior to departure. Be very specific, e.g. "that passenger is exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus."
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Time to raise these things is prior to departure. Be very specific, e.g. "that passenger is exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus."
Yes, good point....I think I was somewhat in shock that the after the "flight crew huddle", the decision was made to allow her to fly....couldn't believe it....I mean seriously....if I take my mask off for 5 minutes, I might get banned for life, but a non-rev who can hardly walk and is about to vomit is allowed to fly.
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Last edited by PDXPremier; Sep 13, 20 at 6:01 pm
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Old Sep 13, 20, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Yes, good point....I think I was somewhat in shock that the after the "flight crew huddle", the decision was made to allow her to fly....couldn't believe it....I mean seriously....if I take my mask off for 5 minutes, I might get banned for life, but a non-rev who can hardly walk and is about to vomit is allowed to fly.
It is certainly concerning to hear this was allowed to proceed. I would have tried to move, as proximity puts you at risk. In todays climate of heightened health concerns, AS should have tried to isolate non-rev to limit exposure to crew and passengers.
I have heard from several FA's that they frequently get "food poisoning" when they do an overnight layover. As a former health care professional , I would be concerned that this was possibly something more than food poisoning . Short of taking vitals at gate, not sure what AS can do , in this case. I would not be happy and would let AS Customer Care know for sure.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by pcoll View Post
It is certainly concerning to hear this was allowed to proceed. I would have tried to move, as proximity puts you at risk. In todays climate of heightened health concerns, AS should have tried to isolate non-rev to limit exposure to crew and passengers.
I have heard from several FA's that they frequently get "food poisoning" when they do an overnight layover. As a former health care professional , I would be concerned that this was possibly something more than food poisoning . Short of taking vitals at gate, not sure what AS can do , in this case. I would not be happy and would let AS Customer Care know for sure.
I saw on her boarding pass that it said she was in row 6, but I honestly don't know if she could have made it that far. I wished they could have put her in row 1 (which was 100% empty) rather than row 2 in front of us.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:34 pm
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Should have spoken up at the first signs you saw, not days later online.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 8:52 pm
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I would still report this to AS and to DOT. Make it clear that these are published symptoms of Covid-19 and that the individual, whether an employee (don't use industry slang such as non-rev) should not only not have been boarded but should have been isolated and referred to proper medical attention.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by mhdena View Post
Should have spoken up at the first signs you saw, not days later online.
Well, it was just yesterday afternoon and it's been officially reported to AS....like I said before, it was one of those moments when I wasn't sure what to do at the time and put my trust in the crew. I asked one of the social media team members and they said that the flight crew may not have had a choice in the matter if it was something that was in the FA contract.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:17 pm
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If it was an employee or interairline contract deadheading, the gate staff (nevermind the revenue pax) may have no say in this matter. However, if it was a non-rev buddy pass flyer (it sounds like it was not and SA shouldn’t be confused with crew), the SA still answers the same questions as everyone else and is treated like a normal pax.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by christof View Post
If it was an employee or interairline contract deadheading, the gate staff (nevermind the revenue pax) may have no say in this matter. However, if it was a non-rev buddy pass flyer (it sounds like it was not and SA shouldn’t be confused with crew), the SA still answers the same questions as everyone else and is treated like a normal pax.
You're probably right, but I hope that's not true. The virus isn't going to care if the person is an employee or not.

I would encourage the OP to report this to the DOT, possibly even via the formal complaint process. AS's hands may have been tied, but a formal complaint would get both the airline and the union involved, and possibly lead to a policy change.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by christof View Post
If it was an employee or interairline contract deadheading, the gate staff (nevermind the revenue pax) may have no say in this matter. However, if it was a non-rev buddy pass flyer (it sounds like it was not and SA shouldn’t be confused with crew), the SA still answers the same questions as everyone else and is treated like a normal pax.
This was a Horizon Air FA in uniform whom I recognized since they were working our inbound flight to AUS in the first class cabin. It doesn't make you feel very safe when the person who very recently served us food and beverages is now sitting in front of us throwing up into a garbage bag. It was a relief to see the crew get together for a "meeting" about it just outside the door of the plane, but the surreal part was when I realized they were going to let her fly.....unreal.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
This was a QX FA in uniform whom I recognized since they were working our inbound flight to AUS in the first class cabin. It doesn't make you feel very safe when the person who very recently served us food and beverage is now sitting in front of us throwing up into a garbage bag. It was a relief to see the crew get together for a "meeting" about it just outside the door of the plane, but the surreal part was when I realized they were going to let her fly.....unreal.
This was a milage run? You flew [SFO/SAN/SJC/SEA]->AUS->SJC? Not judging; you should still report it, but trying to figure out where you'd be coming from with a connection in Austin.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by dordal View Post
This was a milage run? You flew [SFO/SAN/SJC/SEA]->AUS->SJC? Not judging; you should still report it, but trying to figure out where you'd be coming from with a connection in Austin.
Lol...yeah, I realized with what I already had planned to fly for 2020, if I flew to AUS and back (same day), I would move from MVP to MVPG....too good to pass up since the recent BOGO promotion included confirmed first class (in I class) which made my quick and easy PDX-AUS round-trip only $204. I was also guaranteed not to have to sit next to a stranger since my wife came along (and will also move from MVP to MVPG because of this trip). Alas, the quick and easy non-stop I had booked got cancelled with the Sept. schedule changes so my two flight mileage run turned into PDX-SFO-AUS-SJC-PDX. The sick flight attendant worked PDX-SFO-AUS and then showed up as deadheading non-rev on AUS-SJC.

Last edited by PDXPremier; Sep 13, 20 at 11:07 pm
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